Gentle Rattle of China

Willa Latham, London UK

"The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer drives away all demons, a little-known fact.” - Terry Pratchett

Member since 2017

Antique and Art Deco porcelain from England


About Gentle Rattle of China

"The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer drives away all demons, a little-known fact.” - Terry Pratchett


I sell antique and Art Deco porcelain from England and sometimes from other European countries. My main (but not exclusive) focus is on products of the great English potteries of the 19th Century such as Spode, Wileman and Coalport, as well as some early 20th Century items of famous makers such as Shelley and Paragon. Nothing equals their bold and functional design and quality, sometimes following trends but often setting entirely new trends. There is endless variety and I generally list items that are still good for (careful) use.

The material and period of each piece will be clearly indicated in the description so there will be no confusion about whether you are buying antiques or vintage; porcelain, ironstone or earthenware. Almost all pieces are still good for use, unless clearly noted.

With each item you purchase you will received a nicely printed sheet telling you more about its history. I can do gift boxes upon request, depending on the size and shape of the item(s) - please ask. I may charge a small extra fee for this.

I take great care to describe each item correctly, reflect the condition of my pieces honestly and point out any imperfections there may be. If you have any comments or additions to my descriptions I will be glad to hear them - the history is endless and filled with confusion and unknowns!

I ship worldwide from the UK. Did you know that porcelain ships surprisingly well? Wrapping and shipping will take place with the greatest expertise so you can be assured that your items will arrive safely, where ever you order from. I have indicated shipping prices for various parts of the world - if shipping to your country turns out much cheaper than initially charged, I am happy to refund the difference. I will also gladly combine shipping for multiple orders and refund any difference.


To me, there is no such thing to me as a quick sale. Our transaction is the sharing of our love of beauty, so I treat every customer as a long term relationship!

I have always loved beautiful things. I also love to find out about their history and what they tell us about who and where we are now.

It started early, when my grandmother would often serve me tea in a different cup each time I came to visit. I would return wet and cold from my ramblings in the countryside, and she put me by the fire with her reassuring brew and tell me stories about the cup she’d chosen that day – it might have belonged to some beloved great-aunt. Or she might point to a marking in some inexplicable script, and explain that she had purchased it during the war, when chinaware was scarce and traders put their reserves up for sale. I marvelled at the intricate landscapes with willows and bridges on Barratt cups, or the delicate flowers dancing over a Wileman cup.

Fast-forward several decades, and I found myself one morning contemplating life. I had recently left a job and career that had always given me much joy and satisfaction, but that had been demanding everything from me and, after many years of ceaseless work, commuting and pressure, left me feeling burned out. I had decided to push the pause button to see what would happen.

When depositing some old clothes to my local Salvation Army shop the previous afternoon, I had seen a gorgeous tea set. It was simple and elegant and I absolutely adored it. I didn’t need a tea set and I didn’t want anything, so I went home without buying anything. But that tea set didn’t leave me - my old love for art, history and all things beautiful was kindled.

The next morning I woke up with a fully formed plan. I clearly knew that my business was the joy and passion that I rediscovered that afternoon in the Salvation Army shop. My curiosity about the history of those humble cups, my thrill about their beauty, and an enterprising streak that I had forgotten I possessed quickly had the better of me, and 48 hours later I had my shop running online. From there, I have never looked back.

From vintage (see shop with the same name on Etsy) I ventured into antiques, and it is here that I found my true passion. Antique porcelain never stops to amaze me with its bold designs, elaborate detail, exceptional grace, and just simply the fact that these fragile pieces have survived for so many years. There is always more to learn and discover - and there isn't that much around anymore so we had better look after it really well.

Enjoy your object of beauty, and let the china rattle!

"Love the detail on this, and the letter which accompanies each GROC item. Arrived very quickly and extremely well wrapped!"

"I bought this antique tea set for my friend as a housewarming / post wedding gift. The moment they opened the box they just loved it so much! Even each item is packed so well and careful which shows a lot of care from the owner. I will for sure buy again for myself in the future. Too beautiful to miss!"

"Absolutely beautiful! Excellent communication and really fast delivery. Thanks so much Willa for great communication and fast delivery from England to Australia."

"Absolutely stunning pieces I will purchase from this shop again, the letter describing the china and how/where it was made was a beautiful touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Willa Latham
123 Brettenham Road
London E17 5AZ

INSTAGRAM: @gentlerattleofchina
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